Drupalgive: my Drupal contributions

Drupal is a free content management framework and one of the largest successful open source projects. Starting from 2006 I got involved. I’m one of the very few designers to really dig in and contribute to the development of the core application and bootstrapped the UX design and usability efforts within the community.

I’ve always been amazed by the enormous power and flexibility that Drupal can give to people in order to get the word out on the internet. My drive is to help expose that power in such a way that more people can grasp it and apply it for their cause.


Views 2 UI

This was my first big project, designing a new UI for one of the most important Drupal contributed modules, the query builder (list of stuff maker) Views.


D7UX was a big one. Helping Mark Boulton, Leisa Reichelt and the Drupal community at large introduce some big UX changes to the administrative application side of Drupal. This needs some examples, but by some metric (number of patches that got committed to core) I was one of the top 30 contributors to core.


Redesign the content creation page

One of the most important forms in the application is the one where people can create their next post, article or whatever piece of new content. Working in a small team we researched and designed a full proposal for a better content creation page. I researched, produced wireframes, critiqued the design and helped analyse the usability test findings.

Also triggered this: A first wireframe for a create content screen for small screens

Pages & Blocks

Another lofty goal for Drupal 8 is to add a better interface for building page layouts. In todays multi-screen world this is a very complex design problem. Bojhan and I kicked of the design process with a thorough direction for the underlying concepts that need to be put in place first:

Redesign the modules page

The page every sitebuilder loves to hate, so quite hard to get consensus on a direction for this one.


  • Core product: 3 is the magic number, Drupalcon Denver 2012
  • User interface design patterns for your Drupal 7 module, Drupalcon Paris 2009 and Drupalcon Chicago 2011
  • Communicating design, sketching your way to understanding, Drupalcon Paris 2009
  • The Views 2 UI design process, Drupalcon Szeged 2008

“Code” contributions

In quotes because I’m not a programmer. I know just enough to be dangerous.

Dingus theme

A very simple exercise in theming Drupal core with some simple responsiveness baked in. Focussed on a classic clean look with large type. At the time of posting, more than 170 sites using it. Which is a tiny number in the greater scheme of things, but still ridiculously exciting.

Community development

Helped organize the first Dutch national Drupal event in 2007

Dubbed Drupaljam, Erik, Bert, Gaele and I arranged the very first Dutch Drupal meetup. 40 people signed up. 38 showed up. 2 let us know they wouldn’t make it. Brilliant. Drupaljam has been held every year as a free event ever since. The later editions attract around 300 people.

Global co-chair of the Design/UX tracks for Drupalcon.

In this role I helped the local organising team pick and choose the best topics and talks for the Design/Theme/UX track(s) of Drupalcon Copenhagen, Chicago, London and Denver.


Drupal 6 release announcement

Once Drupal 6 was close to release, I helped translate all the great new features and functionality into a human-readable feature list as part of the release announcement Alas, the Drupal.org redesign broke the layout).

Drupal Association badges.

Those round buttons you sometimes see on people’s Drupal blogs? Yeah. Somebody should create some new ones already :)

All in all, I know a thing or two about how to create a better Drupal admin UX. If that’s something you want to improve for your Drupal app as well, contact me